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Super Protest on Super Bowl Sunday

February 13th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Super bowl Sunday and events preceding the game are as much about theater and hype as sport.

It’s a money-making extravaganza from advertising revenue alone - a 30-second spot costing over $5 million.

Over 100 million viewers watch the spectacle. It’s the most over-hyped entertainment event of the year, audience size far exceeding Oscar night.

Football is a violent sport, injuries commonplace, at times disabling. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was hospitalized in December for two months following major spinal stabilization surgery.

It took weeks for him to regain movement in his legs. He may never play again. He’s undergoing long-term rehabilitation to try regaining mobility, his injury and other major ones players endure a huge price to pay for monetary compensation received.

Full story »

Making America Great Through Exploitation, Servitude and Abuse

February 12th, 2018

James Petras

The public denunciation by thousands of women and a few men that they had been victims of sexual abuse by their economic bosses raises fundamental issues about the social relations of American capitalism.

The moral offenses are in essence economic and social crimes. Sexual abuse is only one aspect of the social dynamics facilitating the increase in inequality and concentration of wealth, which define the practices and values of the American political and economic system.

Billionaires and mega-millionaires are themselves the products of intense exploitation of tens of millions of isolated and unorganized wage and salaried workers. Capitalist exploitation is based on a rigid hierarchy with its private prerogatives, which enables the oligarchs to demand their feudal privileges, their seigniorial sexual predations.

US capitalism thrives on and requires unlimited power and the capacity to have the public treasury pay for its untrammeled pillage of land, labor, transport systems and technological development. Capitalist power, in the United States, has no counterpart; there are few if any countervailing forces to provide any balance.

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Living in an Orwellian Tyranny

February 12th, 2018

Gilad Atzmon

Yesterday Nick Timothy, Theresa May's former aide, was accused of using an antisemitic slur in his article on Brexit. He co-authored a Telegraph report titled, George Soros, the man who 'broke the Bank of England', backing secret plot to thwart Brexit.

Not only did Timothy not criticise Soros as a Jew, he didn’t even refer to him as a Jew. But it seems the fact that Soros is a Jew was enough to censure Timothy as an ‘antisemite.’ It took no more.

Stephen Bush wrote in The New Statesman , “The reason that many find the Telegraph's treatment so disturbing is that Soros, who is Jewish, has been at the centre of a series of anti-Semitic conspiracies by the increasingly authoritarian governments in Poland, Hungary and Turkey.” It is mildly amusing that the banal Stephen Bush can’t see that he himself employs an authoritarian manner of thought. Unless guilt by association has become Britain’s press’ MO, the fact that some regimes not approved of by Bush or The New Statesman decided to cleanse themselves of Soros’ infiltration has little relevance to Timothy or his argument.

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The FBI and the President – Mutual Manipulation

February 12th, 2018

James Petras

Few government organizations have been engaged in violation of the US citizens’ constitutional rights for as long a time and against as many individuals as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Seldom has there been greater collusion in the perpetration of crimes against civil liberties, electoral freedom and free and lawful expression as what has taken place between the FBI and the US Justice Department.

In the past, the FBI and Justice Department secured the enthusiastic support and public acclaim from the conservative members of the US Congress, members of the judiciary at all levels and the mass media. The leading liberal voices, public figures, educators, intellectuals and progressive dissenters opposing the FBI and their witch-hunting tactics were all from the left. Today, the right and the left have changed places: The most powerful voices endorsing the FBI and the Justice Department’s fabrications, and abuse of constitutional rights are on the left, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and famous liberal media corporations and public opinion makers.

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Syrian Air Defense Downs Israeli F-16

February 12th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Throughout years of US-led aggression on Syria, Israel attacked its territory numerous times - by air and cross-border shelling.

It’s unclear if any of its warplanes were hit before - most often operating from Lebanese or its own airspace.

Pre-dawn Saturday, Syria’s air defense downed an Israeli F-16 operating west of Damascus. An IDF spokesman said the plane crashed, its pilots safe after ejecting, adding they’re hospitalized in stable condition.

Preceding the incident, Israel downed what it called an Iranian drone, most likely a Syrian one called Iranian.

Netanyahu and IDF leadership together with Washington seek pretexts to escalate war on Syria more than already.

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Billionaire Boom a Sign of Economic Failure

January 26th, 2018


Stephen Lendman

It reflects the ravages of predatory capitalism, rewarding the super-rich at the expense of most others in societies - exploited so its privileged class can benefit hugely.

It’s a global sickness, fostering unacceptable extreme inequality, highlighted in a new Oxfam report titled “Reward Work, Not Wealth,” its executive director Winnie Byanyima saying:

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system.”

“The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited to ensure a steady supply of cheap goods, and swell the profits of corporations and billionaire investors.”Anju sews clothes for export in Bangladesh. She works up to 12 hours daily, skips meals for lack of enough money. She earns around $900 a year.

Vietnamese garment worker Lan said she continued working after getting pregnant, saying “(t)here were many boxes full of shoes, and my job was to put the stamp on.”

“Those shoes would fit my son perfectly. They are very nice. I’d like my son to have shoes like these, but he can’t.”

“I think he’d want them, and I feel sorry for him. The shoes are very pretty. You know that one pair of shoes that we make is valued more than our whole month’s salary.”

Last year saw the largest number of billionaires created in a 12-month period. Oxfam reported a new one every two days - 2,043 billionaires worldwide, 90% men.

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Russiagate, Trump, and an American Police-State?

January 26th, 2018

Eric Zuesse

Republicans in the U.S. House have made available to all members of the House an allegedly scandalous “memo” that allegedly summarizes the FBI’s cooperation with the Democratic Party during the 2016 Presidential election; but, supposedly, no House member is being allowed to make this evidence available to the public, because, supposedly, as Republican House Intelligence Committee member Mike Conaway from Texas said, “That’d be real dangerous,” and yet he provided no evidence to back up that police-state assertion of the Government’s supposed ‘right’ to hide, from the voters, information that’s crucial to voters’ being empowered to vote intelligently.

Full story »

Russia to Blame for Everything

January 26th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Big Lies about Russia wore thin long ago - roared by America’s bipartisan criminal class in Washington, regurgitated by deplorable media scoundrels, an endless exercise in disgraceful Russia bashing.

According to its imperial logic, Russia is responsible for US high crimes, including CW attacks by US-supported terrorists. On Tuesday in Paris at a ceremony for the launch of an Orwellian International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons used by Washington and its rogue allies unaccountably, Rex Tillerson irresponsibly blamed Russia and Syria for CW attacks carried out by US-supported terrorists.

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The Opioid Epidemic in America - Killing One Million Workers: The Triumph of Capital (Creating a Domestic ‘Shithole’)

January 26th, 2018

James Petras and Robin Eastman-Abaya

Introduction

The link between capitalism and drugs reaches back to the middle of the 19th century, when the British Empire forced their surplus opium crop from their South Asian colonies into the Chinese market creating massive demand from millions of addicts. The Chinese government, which had banned the use and sale of opium, was alarmed at the growing social chaos created by mass addiction and went to war with the Western powers to halt the flood of drugs. Their defeat at the hands of the British and their Chinese drug lord allies opened China to massive exploitation and pillage for the next century. Chinese opium addicts were a tremendous obstacle to organizing national resistance. In essence, the British East India Company and its imperial protectors transformed China into the history’s largest ‘shithole’ – until an earth-shattering revolution broke the chains of addiction and degradation.

In the 21st century, a similar process of deterioration has been occurring internally in the United States. The ‘prescription opioid epidemic’ is ravaging American families, neighborhoods, communities, cities and states – shredding the entire fabric of US society, especially in rural, mining and former manufacturing ‘rust belt’ regions. Hundreds of thousands of mostly working class victims have died and millions of addicts, unable to resist the destruction of their futures, have replaced a once powerful labor force.

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Blackouts and Flashpoints in 2018

January 26th, 2018

James Petras

January 2018

The prophets and forecasters for the coming year have already set out their global vision ranging from rising economies to catastrophic global wars.

I want to argue from a different perspective, focusing on the increasing subdivision of markets, the deepening autonomy of political action from economic development, the greater threat of military interventions and increasing political accommodation. I believe that we will experience a radical making and remaking of political and economic integration, East and West, within and without nations states. ‘States Rights’ will re-emerge as an antidote to globalization. Big countries will compete in regional wars with limited commitments but with global goals.

Catastrophic developments are unlikely but radical incremental changes will be frequent and have cumulative consequences.

To understand these important trends, it is important to analyze and discuss the major national actors in this panorama – starting with the United States.

Full story »

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